‘Game Of Thrones’ Renewed For A Fourth Season, Season Premiere Sets Online Piracy Record

Here’s another one to file under Fantastic And Totally Unsurprising News: HBO announced today that they have renewed Game of Thrones for a fourth season. As we discussed yesterday, the third season debuted to record ratings this week despite going up against The Bible and the finale of The Walking Dead (which, given that this Sunday was Easter, could more or less be considered the same show), and the Internet had been losing its collective mind about it for the last month or so leading up to the premiere, so it’s pretty safe to say that Game of Thrones will be around for the foreseeable future. This is a good thing.

Somewhat less of a good thing (for HBO, at least): The premiere set a record for online piracy.

Piracy tracker TorrentFreak says that more than 1 million viewers downloaded the episode in the first day after it aired. At one point, more than 163,000 people were simultaneously sharing a single torrent — a new record. The previous record, of just under 145,000 simultaneous file-swappers, was set by the Heroes season 3 debut in 2008, according to TorrentFreak’s data. [CNN]

Well, I guess we can now confirm that people really like Game of Thro-… hold on. TIME OUT. The previous Most Simultaneously Pirated Show Of All-Time was the third season premiere of Heroes? In 2008? How is that possible? Did we even have the Internet in 2008? And even if we did, wasn’t Heroes available on free, over-the-air, broadcast television? I mean, I can see why lots of people might want to pirate a critically acclaimed show that is only accessible via an expensive cable subscription, but why in the hell did 145,000 dorks run to their computers the day after the third season of Heroes premiered and illegally download something that was practically being given away (at least by television standards)? And how did take five years to break the record? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Game of Thrones is good and everyone should keep watching it.